The draw for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been made and it throws up some interesting scenarios, especially at the knock-out stages.
The U.S. finds itself in Group B with England, Iran and the winner of the playoff in UEFA that involves Wales taking on the winner of the semifinal in that pod between Scotland and Ukraine. The US starts with Wales/Scotland/Ukraine, a must-win game if they are to have any hope off progressing before playing England and finishing up with Iran. Six points will be enough to progress, while four might do.
Should the U.S. manage to finish second in Group B, a matchup against the Group A winner, most likely the Netherlands, beckons. But if the U.S. can repeat its feat from 2010 and top the group, a tough matchup against one of hosts Qatar, Ecuador and Senegal, with its superstar trio of Sadio Mane, Edouard Mendy and captain Kalidou Koulibaly, awaits. Getting past any one of those teams and reaching the quarterfinals, where a matchup with Argentina is possible, would be a magnificent accomplishment.
But that is getting ahead of ourselves. The fact that the U.S. will play on the opening day of the tournament complicates the team’s preparations. Berhalter said that a pre-tournament camp in Dubai had to be scrapped because teams need to be in Qatar five days ahead of their first game, and players will only be released a week prior to the start of the World Cup.
That will require the U.S. making the most of the two remaining international windows in June and September. In June, the U.S. has two games in the CONCACAF Nations League, for which Berhalter said he would bring in his full team, and two friendlies.
The tournament will run over one month, with the final scheduled for December 18 and with a 6pm local time kick-off.
World Cup 2022 Qatar Group Marches
Tuesday, November 22
Argentina v Saudi Arabia – Buy World Cup Tickets
Denmark v Tunisia – Buy World Cup Tickets
Mexico v Poland – Buy World Cup Tickets
France v Peru/UAE/Australia – Buy World Cup Tickets
Wednesday, November 23
Morocco v Croatia – Buy World Cup Tickets
Germany v Japan – Buy World Cup Tickets
Spain v Costa Rica/New Zealand – Buy World Cup Tickets
Belgium v Canada – Buy World Cup Tickets
Saturday, November 26
Tunisia v Peru/UAE/Australia – Buy World Cup Tickets
Poland v Saudi Arabia – Buy World Cup Tickets
France v Denmark – Buy World Cup Tickets
Argentina v Mexico – Buy World Cup Tickets
Wednesday, November 30
Peru/UAE/Australia v Denmark – Buy World Cup Tickets
Tunisia v France – Buy World Cup Tickets
Poland v Argentina – Buy World Cup Tickets
Saudi Arabia v Mexico – Buy World Cup Tickets
Friday, December 9
Match 57 – Winner of Match 49 v Winner Match 50 – Lusail Stadium – Buy World Cup Tickets
Match 58 – Winner of Match 53 v Winner Match 54 – Education City Stadium – Buy World Cup Tickets
Tuesday, December 13
Match 61 – Winner Match 57 v Winner Match 58 – Lusail Stadium – Buy World Cup Tickets
Wednesday, December 14
Match 62 – Winner Match 59 v Winner Match 60 – Al Bayt Stadium – Buy World Cup Tickets
Saturday, December 17
Match 63 – Khalifa International Stadium – Buy World Cup Tickets
Sunday, December 18
Match 64 – Lusail Stadium – Buy World Cup Tickets